May 2021 archive
When the first lockdown measures came to California about a year ago, the BLM-managed areas in my neighborhood were closed, making a lot of the local climbing routes inaccessible. My buddies and I instead climbed routes on land owned by the City of Los Angeles. The restrictions on BLM land didn't last long though.

Youths wouldn't stop using a closed skatepark in Dieburg, Germany. This week, after tape and barriers didn't keep skaters out, the mayor had a truckload of gravel dumped on the skating area.
As reported by Politico:
"I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election," McCarthy said after meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House alongside other congressional leaders.
Ionesco anticipated moments like this. His play Rhinoceros is often read as allegory for fascism and mob mentality. Kevin McCarthy's statement reminds me of this line: Rhinoceros, act two, scene one
My first attempt at making a screwdriver with a grooved handle. I have factory-made screwdrivers with three, four, and six grooves; this one has five. Five is a nice prime number.

Three, four, and six are tame choices, akin to how 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 are safe, familiar time signatures. 5/4 is where it starts to get spicy.

My primary motivation in adding the grooves wasn't how they help with grip but rather so that the tool won't roll off a table.

Prunus serotina
Obamacare has made decent health insurance available to me as a retired person (with preëxisting conditions) shy of Medicare age. I don't have much income and the federal government subsidizes the premiums, more so in 2021 (one of several COVID relief measures). Last year I paid 14% of the premiums and the government paid 86%; this year the feds are paying for all of it. Even so, the insurance company drains $1 from my bank account every month so that I don't forget who is who.

Yesterday I got email from They Might Be Giants saying
For the next seven days, this very rare live duo show recorded at the Music Hall of Williamsburg is available to you for free.
I went to the band's website to take them up on the offer. I put the download for the show in my cart, it was priced at $0.00, but checkout wanted me to send $0.01 via PayPal. I declined but the offer is good for a week if I change my mind. I am somewhat curious to see if PayPal would eat the 1¢ or whether they'd initiate a withdrawal for that little.
Geococcyx californianus, Sceloporus occidentalis
Roadrunner with male western fence lizard
An appeals court in California ruled this week that Amazon is responsible when people are hurt by unsafe products sold through their site.

From an LA Times article on the ruling:
An Amazon spokeswoman, requesting anonymity even though she's, you know, a spokeswoman, declined to comment on the new ruling or whether Amazon will appeal it to the state Supreme Court.
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